The Little Vegetarian Shoemaker of Barking.
Ian Thorpe
Comedy / Fiction / Celebrity / Society / 1500 words / 10 minutes read time
One day the radio was playing in the Boggart Blog Office and we heard a news item about the well known celebrity amputee Heather Mills Medusa and the entourage she planned to take on her holiday. The travelling circus of sidekicks included the usual personal celebrity 's assistant, personal celebritity's chef, celebrity's trainer and personal hairdresser but some less likely hangers on, her interior designer, estate agent, private photographer and her vegetarian shoemaker" WTF is a vegetarian shoemaker you might think. The Boggart Blog certainly did, so sensing a backstory we sent our ace invisible reporter to investigate. What we uncovered was a tragic tale of infdelity, prostitution, sex, betrayal and steadfastness - with a happy ending. CREATIVE COMMONS: Some rights reserved. Distribution: Non - commercial, attrib, no derivs, All reproductions should be credited to Helga Ross and linked to ""

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The Little Vegetarian Shoemaker of Barking.

On hearing a snippet of news on the radio over the weekend, that among the entourage that will accompany the ex - Mrs. McCartney on her holiday will be her personal vegetarian shoemaker, the Boggar Blog team sensed there was a human interest story behind that snippet. So we dispatched one of our ace reporters. This is the report as filed.

Once upon a time in the ancient township and baliwick of Barking Magna lived a little vegetarian shoemaker. Each day he would sit all day long in his workshop making vegetarian shoes. He was immensely proud of the fact that he was the best vegetarian shoemaker in Barking. Actually he was the only vegetarian shoemaker in Barking but nobody had the heart to tell him. We should mention for the benefit of non-British readers, Barking was a small market tow in southern England, now swallowed up by London's urban sprawl. The word Barking is also slang for mentally unstable - barking mad.

One day the little shoemaker handed his wife a pair of vegetarian shoes he had just finished making. "Please put those in the store until we have a customer my dear," he said.

"Mein dahlink," said he wife though she was not of central European extraction but simply liked speaking in silly voices, " mein dahlink, why you are making vegetarian shoes? Zere is not an inch of space left in ze store from in five years ve haff not had a single customer to buy vegetarian shoes. All day you are making shoes in ze vorkshop, all day I am standing in ze shop watching people smirk and snigger as they go past. In fife years ve haff not one single customer. It iss time for you to giff up zis crazy dream and start making strong leather boots for gentlemen and lovely kidskin slippers for ze ladies. People buy meat eating shoes from the other cobblers, you should also make meat eating shoes."

The Little Vegetarian Shoemaker protested, "But I was born to make vegetarian shoes, it is my destiny to put the feet of Barking folk in vegetarian shoes."
Zen iss it your destiny to catch ze crabs also?" asked his wife rather cryptically.
"Catch crabs, me? Become a crab fisherman? Never, for I could not harm any living creature."
"In zat case you are in for an uncomfortable time for while you chase your crazy dream I have to turn a few tricks in Barking High Street in order zat we may eat. And ze pubic lice are an occupational hazard. This is Barking, face it, your dream is over, the people want meat eating shoes."
"Then the people are Philistines, " protested the little vegetarian shoemaker, "but if we persevere, one day we will enlighten them."
"You may enlighten them alone," said the shoemakers wife, "I will tell you about persevere, I am leaving you, Percy Vere, the pork butcher down the road has taken a liking to me. He bought me these."
She raised her skirts to reveal the most delicate pair of kitten heeled slip on imaginable. "Meat eating shoes," she said proudly,"they must be fed two ounces each of fillet steak per day."
"That is barbaric, " wailed the shoemaker. "I will make you a pair of dancing slippers from woven angel hair noodles, I will carve your clogs from solidified lentil casserole, I will …
"Barbaric? Zink of all those flakes of dry skin your feet are shedding each day. You zink your vegetarian shoes are not eating those to get a little protien? Your shoes are not healthy on a vegetarian diet and unhealthy shoes make for unhealthy feet. Do you zink my Percy would pay good money to suck my toes if all day they had been sweating in somezing like zat."
She pointed at the ugly clumpy clogs made from old tyres and raffia that the little shoemaker wore.

These are beautiful shoes and no animals were exploited in the making of them," wailed the vegetarian shoemaker in despair as his pretty wife slammed out of the house and into the arms of Percy Vere who was proffering a large pork sausage.

For days the Little Vegetarian Shoemaker of Barking sat alone in his shop, contemplating putting an and to his life. Could nobody see the moral superiority of vegetarian shoes.

Just as the poor shoemaker was about to end it all a woman with an artificial leg named Heather Mills Medusa walked into the shop. She did not give her name, only that of her prosthetic leg.

"Howaay bonne lad," she said in a strong regional accent, " A vegetarian shoemaker at long last, ah divvn't knaa what ah'd of done if ah'd na foond yer canny shop. Ah've bin skennin fer a vegetarian shoemaker ivver sin that tight bastard McCartney cut uz an' wor bairn off wi' aanly twenteh-fower million te uz name. Hoo's a commited vegetarian like uz te get by in a meat eating world. Dee ye ken hoo much it cosses te hev vegetrairian shoes flied in fra' Hindoostan? A fookin fortune, that's hoo much. An' ah've aanly twenteh-fower million te get by on. Moast folk divvent knaa what hardship is but ah dee, aanly twenteh-fower million mind you. The tight arsed bastard. Ah'll tek evvera pair of vegetarian shoes ye have in the shop."

"Thank you, thanky you, your ladyshipness, you have saved my life and I am your devoted servant," grovelled the little vegetarian shoemaker."

"Hev ye a lass bonnie lad," asked the lady.

"Alas no longer, she left me for Percy Vere the pork butcher. And I fear none will have be now for I have an vegetarian artificial leg, I carved it myself from bean curd after my wife chewed off the natural one in an act of revenge for my confiscating a pork pie I once caught her eating."

"Yer did good, bonnie lad, the bugger was aanly on the make. Pack yer bags, you deserve a break so ah'm tekkin yer on holiders wi' uz, you will be my personal vegetarian shoemaker. Did ah mention that uz multi billiontrillionsqillionaire husband, a rock star, cut uz off wi' aanly twenteh fower million. Hoo am ah expected to save the world, feed the poor, heal the sick and lead the effin blind on that eh? "

The Little shoemaker was overwhelmed, "I can never thank you enough, you have restored my faith, you are the Patron Saint of of Barking" he said.

"Awaa wi' yer, ah knaa ah'm gorgeous and devastatingly sexy but uz've aanly just met.

"Maybe," said the vegetarian shoemaker, "but after my wife left I thought the world had spurned me. I believed there was nobody so sane in Barking as to recognise the value of vegetarian shoes. You are the soul of Barking. I think I'm falling in love with you."

"Haad on, bonnie lad," said the customer, Let's weeat until yer vegetarian shoes have become a glurbal fashion item and yer've made a few hundred million like,then we'll talk aboot romance"

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